Passion 2013, a Christian conference that reaches out to students and young adults, reportedly attracted more than 60,000 people to the Georgia Dome this week.
This year’s conference will be the largest single Passion gathering in North America since the Passion movement began, according to ChristianPost.com. Christian speakers including John Piper, Beth Moore, Francis Chan, Judah Smith, and Gary Haugen will be present and Christian entertainers scheduled to perform include Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, Charlie Hall, David Crowder, Lecrae and Jesus Culture.
Organizer Louie Giglio, who will also speak at the event, says Passion is meant to be a symbol of a new generation that is discovering religion and turning to God.
“At the heart of it all, Passion exists to see a generation stake their lives on what matters most,” Giglio said in a statement. “For us, that’s the fame of the One who rescues and restores, and the privilege we have to fully leverage our lives by amplifying His name in everything we do.”
The event last four days, from Jan. 1-4 and began in 1997. Passion has reportedly grown into one of the largest annual gatherings of young Christians in the United States. This year, the conference has drawn young people, between the ages of 18 and 25, from 54 different nations and more than 2,000 colleges and universities.
Participants brought socks and towels to be donated to Atlanta, Nashville and Gulf Coast homeless shelters.
As for his expectations this year, Giglio said he has been impressed, but not shocked by the turnout.
“Honestly, we want to see the place filled,” he said. “Not for the sake of numbers, but as a symbol of a new generation…a new wave of Jesus followers who are trading in small dreams for a place in the story God is writing around the globe.”